An update from our friends at K3 from December 10th:
A quick "Pre-Christmas" update from out our neck of the (snowy woods).
Winter has returned! and about time. Lots of snow the last while, and perhaps a bit of a break and some sun and cold air coming.
The skiing has improved immensely (from what I've heard - too busy with paperwork still myself to get any turns in yet).
There is still quite a bit of Alder lurking in the usual haunts. Coverage gets much better as you get up higher.
The Gorge is well plowed and maintained - with lots of Industrial traffic (7 days a week), there maybe reduced plowing on the weekend so plan accordingly.
On that note from December 23 up to Jan 3rd there will be less plowing and traffic for the Christmas break. That being said - you still NEED your radio 7 days a week. Be aware that if you have a lower clearance vehicle or a trailer - it maybe much harder to get up the road for this timeframe.
Avoid the temptation to drop your sled and head up - because while you may not be able to drive up, that does not mean someone else can't or won't - as as always Santa is watching to see who drives their sleds up plowed roads.
Our road building program is in full swing, as is our preparation for Staff training and the season. You can expect an increased amount of activity in our area (sleds, snowcats, truck traffic).
Our road is plowed (though not for a few days now as the Grader snapped a drive shaft!) - again radios are the key every day.
There has been a noticeable uptick in radio use - which is awesome, and the key to keeping things working.
Remember that radios do have their quirks and issues. The 5W hand held's have far less range to both transmit, and receive then the large 30w truck ones do, but even the bigger radios can have dead spots or shortened range. The key to radio use is practice and experience, remember to listen just as much or more than you transmit, try to make a "mental map" of where the other users are, and always yield to downhill or loaded traffic. Communicate clearly and keep it on point.
If you come to a pull out and plan on parking for the day, and it is getting full - move on to the next good spot - those spots are needed to pass the loaded/unloaded traffic - don't get in the way.
Even with that - always drive as if there is a loaded truck or Moose or Sasquatch around every corner.
Turn your headlights on , and make sure you have those lovely winter tires on. Bring a proper shovel (not just the lightweight one in your pack) and a tow strap, and tire chains (and know how to use them as always).
Our friends over at Avalanche Canada love to get your MIN reports, and as always check out the bulletins before you go.
The days are about as short as they can be - so remember to plan that into your day - and make sure, if you do get caught out in the dark - that your headlamp has brand new batteries and works.
Winter is just getting started - there is a ton of skiing and power to come.
Make sure you know about any/all closures for both fire and Caribou - the onus is on the users to know what is closed and to know your location respective to these areas.
Thats about it - if you see us out and about - say hi.
Merry Christmas from K3
we have posted the status of the Gorge RR on our main page. This may change at any time so be prepared for anything!
a belated update from Nov 11 from our friends at K3 Catski:
Quick update from out west. It is a long weekend for some, and sunny (trust me) above this pesky valley cloud.
The Gorge road is well plowed, but the snow that did fall, has now been compacted into quite a slippery layer in places. The logging trucks are running extra sets of chains because of this.
Remember 4x4 does not make you stop faster.
Make sure you have the proper gear to be out there! I met 3 trucks without radios over the last couple days. Not everyone is a skier, granted, I think at least one was a guy looking for Moose.
Turn your head lights on.
Radios- winter tires, - think the ones with the mountain and snowflakes - cause that is where you are headed! M&S are not as good in snow or ice. Tire chains, and a tow strap and shovel. Make sure you know how to use all of the above. Just buying it and tossing it in the back of the truck is like buying a beacon or probe and not ever training with them.
There is more logging traffic than in other years past, and at all hours of the day and night - potentially 7 days a week. We all want to get to and from the hills safely.
1 side note - the bears are very much still awake and active - maybe bring your bear spray, or at least until your cardio catches up after the summer
Winter is off to a great start - this cold should cause some of the creeks to freeze over and be less of an issue than last year was.
Play safe - take lots of pictures, and spread the word to everyone to have the right gear to be out enjoying things.
Cheers from K3
we've added a section on driving on forest roads (resource roads) as this is a key component of accessing the Gorge ski touring terrain safely. Visit the touring page for more info. You absolutely need to have the following:
With changing temperatures throughout the day and at different elevations, road conditions can go from good to super slippery in a matter of meters. Throw in loaded logging trucks and you need to make sure you are ready for anything.
Some more tips and requirements for the road:
The Gorge Ski Touring Association, lead by Gord Bose and Luke Grubbels attended the Shuswap Trails Round Table meeting on October 26, 2022. From the meeting minutes:
Gord Bose reported the following new priorities: Sicamous bike park (currently in the process of a Section 57 and First Nations engagement), hoping to break ground next year; the Gorge Creek backcountry area for ski touring and snowmobiling, and working on mitigating recreational conflict and ensuring safety on the access road for all users; and understanding and adhering to closures due to caribou habitat and wildfires (post 2021 wildfire season closures).
The Gorge Ski Touring Association attended the latest Shuswap Trails Alliance Meeting. Good discussion was had and talks will continue with the key stakeholders.